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Bandhs impede development, cause nuisance

Kamlendra Kanwar’s article “Bandhs are India’s bane” (Dec 23) is a strong media effort against the mindless and senseless bandh culture. It exposed the bankruptcy of the political system along with inefficiency of governance. Our law enforcing agencies have been reduced to mute spectators, casting a shadow over the role of the state.

It is the government’s duty to protect and not harm the citizens’ interests and if the government fails to do so, the judiciary must step in. Unfortunately, the judiciary’s efforts are also proving to be insufficient to curb the bandh culture.

In a democracy, everybody has a right to protest, but their protest should stop where other man’s liberty begins. The media should come out more strongly against bandhs and protests that inconvenience the public.



The article was apt and timely. Frustrated politicians who yearn for power often call bandhs. Invariably, leaders rejected by the masses lead bandhs. They have no respect for people’s lives and property.

Indeed, bandhs paralyse life and bring economic activity to a standstill. The wheels of development come to a screeching halt. Government offices wear a deserted look and production in factories comes to a grinding halt. The government seems to be helpless and watches the situation turn ugly. In the absence of a will to act, the situation is first allowed to slip out of hands and when it becomes impossible to handle, curfew is imposed in towns and cities making the life of the common man more miserable.

Even our judiciary is confused. Sometimes it says that the bandhs are illegal and then calls it legitimate means of expressing people’s feelings in a democracy. The writer has aptly pointed out that nowhere in the world do governments tolerate such appallingly anti-national activity that hits production like a thunderbolt and causes untold suffering to people at large. The Centre must curb the bandh menace with an iron hand.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Too little, too late

It is outrageously invidious that the former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore has got away with six months imprisonment in the Ruchika molestation case (editorial, “A case of too little, too late”, Dec 23). Besides, he has been slapped with a token fine of Rs 1,000 by the CBI Court after inordinately long trials and tribulations undergone by the Anand Prakash family, friends of the Girotra family.

The father of Aradhana Gupta, Mr Anand Prakash , a man of steel and extraordinary fortitude, appeared 450 times in various courts in this case for justice and got the former DGP of Haryana indicted and convicted by the court. The officials who shielded Rathore should be meted out a deterrent punishment.

The fact that the police and the political class act in collusion to protect each other, underlines the need for effective police reforms.



The Ruchika molestation case happened in 1990 when the accused, SPS Rathore, was an IG of Police. The prosecution case now stands established, after 19 long years with the special court’s verdict awarding him six months rigorous imprisonment.

False cases were hoisted upon the brother of the hapless victim. These high-handed attempts at stifling justice by the guardian (s) of law were clearly meant to ensure that no hurdles came in the way of Rathore’s career. Rathore then went on to retire as the DGP.

A right-thinking government must immediately demote this retired police officer to the level of IG, a post he was holding when charges were brought against him and now duly upheld by the law, and his pension reduced accordingly. Great faith was reposed in the judiciary by the late Ruchika’s friend Aradhana Gupta and her parents, in their lonely battle for a just requiem for Ruchika.

R NARAYANAN, Ghaziabad


In the light of the punishment meted out to SPS Rathore in the Ruchika molestation case, it has been established beyond doubt that he did commit the crime.

Rathore was working in the Haryana police department from the day he committed the crime till his retirement in July 2002, a period of about 12 years. To top it all, he was promoted. He was entrusted with key positions in the Haryana police. This is nothing but the mockery of the system and calls for deep soul-searching.

An enquiry commission should be set up to look into the decisions taken by him while holding important positions in the police department.

Dr BR SOOD, Hoshiarpur

Save planet earth

The Copenhagen summit, by and large, was an abject failure (article, “West has failed at Copenhagen” by Johann Hari, Dec 22). The US-BASIC non-binding accord could be a step forward, but is highly inadequate to protect the earth’s climate (news report, “Govt: Copenhagen accord doesn’t affect sovereignty”, Dec 23). If the leaders of the developed countries are not compelled by scientific evidence to take concrete steps, then I wonder, how other countries could do something significant on their own.

Our lifestyles are moulded in a way that we are heavily dependent upon petrol and latest technologies in every sphere of life. A large percentage of people around the world are non-vegetarians.

Reversing climate erosion is a daunting task. As rightly mentioned in the article, people should join hands and make concerted efforts to reverse it. At least the government should initiate awareness programmes. Viable alternative sources of energy should be developed at a commercial level and be used proactively. It is our planet and we all can make a difference to save it.

Dr SANJIV GUPTA, Perth, Australia



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